Pell, 32, and season 21 contestant Danielle Lombard are seeing each other, he confirms to Us Weekly. (Watch the genetically blessed chat with Us in video above!)
“She’s a great girl,” the Nashville-based star tells Us of Lombard, 28. “But we haven’t gotten to know each other yet. We haven’t even had a real, proper date or anything yet.”
The Bachelorette season 12 alum and Lombard, a standout on Viall’s season before he sent her home on the February 6 episode, met in L.A. about a month ago and have hung out a few times since then. But Pell still considers himself single. “I’m just trying to get to know people and try to take everything slow,” the West Point alum shares. “Some people assume it’s easier to date after the show, because people know who you are and people are comfortable with who you already are. But I’m like, no, it’s more complicated because people assume things, and everything’s in the public.”
As Pell exclusively revealed to Us in September, he was set to star on season 21 of the reality series until producers pulled the plug on him just hours before he was set to board his L.A.-bound flight to begin filming.
“The casting department thought it was going to be me,” he reveals. “Then the changes were made at levels above their pay grades, which is why they reopened casting and they’re like, ‘OK, how many girls will stay for Nick? How many new ones do we need specifically for Nick?’ and they just had to go back to the drawing board with that whole thing.”
Meeting Viall’s contestants — who may have been cast for him! — has gotten, well, awkward at times. “There’s this elephant in the room like, ‘Oh, well, we were supposed to meet on the show but now we’re meeting in person,” says Pell. “How do you react to that, because you don’t pursue it the same as you would on the show?”
For more on Pell and his music, watch the videos above and head over to LukePell.com.
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.